CincyFlags’ purpose was to design a flag for every neighborhood in Cincinnati. All 52 flags were unveiled and displayed on Friday, September 27th, at Findlay Market. Each flag is open source and available for locals to use them as they wish. Learn more about your neighborhood’s flag at CincyFlags.com.
Chris Glass and I designed seven of the 52 flags for several West Side Neighborhoods; Lower Price Hill, East Price Hill, West Price Hill, South Fairmount, Sedamsville, Riverside, and Sayler Park.
To get to know each neighborhood, an initial survey was distributed online and offline for citizens to express their local knowledge and pride. Additionally, Chris and I held a workshop for all of the neighborhoods at the Price Hill Recreation Center. Beyond these two research methods, we explored the internet for facts and stories about each community. In the three Price Hill neighborhoods for instance, we found the video documentation of “Street Stories” by Cincy Stories to be particularly helpful. Between the survey, workshop, and information gathering, we mined a decent amount of visual and verbal descriptions of our neighborhoods.
Included in our design constraints were the five principles for good flag design written by Ted Kay of the North American Vexillological Association.
The five Principles are:
Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.
With our discovery work concluded and these five principles in mind, Chris and I designed several options for each neighborhood. The possibilities were published to CincyFlags.com where the communities could vote for and comment on their favorite flags. When possible, we shared the variations in-person at community council meetings. The votes were tallied, and the designs below were selected.
To be clear, the neighborhoods are not “mandated” to use the flags. Their use and acceptance are totally up to the local councils.
The approximate process outlined here was shaped by the CincyFlags organizers and followed by Chris and me, along with the rest of the designers involved in the project. The details and symbolism behind each flag can be found at CincyFlags.com. Follow the links in the captions underneath each flag below (see underlined text) to discover more.
Kudos to Josh and Chris of We Be Team (check out their new studio) and Henry Frondorf for initiating the project, herding the designers, and gathering the local councils. It was a huge effort on their part. Likewise, thanks to the sponsors, The Haile Foundation, The City of Cincinnati, and National Flag Co.